April 8, 2019

BGCSM Youth Take The Lead for Detroit’s Economic Mobility

Photo: Urban Content Studios/Darren Clark

Detroit youth are leading the conversation about galvanizing economic mobility for families and youth in Detroit. More than 20 youth-serving agencies convened at Boys & Girls Clubs’ Dauch Campus on Friday, March 29. They collaborated directly with BGCSM youth to define economic mobility and discuss how 2020 Census participation will impact economic mobility.

Photo: Urban Content Studios/ Darren Clark

Detroit’s own Big Sean attended the event along with Mayor Mike Duggan to hear the ideas born from the collaborative session. The main topic of the discussion was the 2020 Census– the nationwide count done once each decade of every person living in the United States.

In the past, Census information was collected by Federal Census-takers.  They would go into neighborhoods, knock on doors, and collect information directly from residents. For many Detroiters, this process felt invasive or intimidating. Soon, for the first time in American history, the Census is going digital.


Photo: detroitmi.gov/census

Every household will receive instructions in the mail for filling out their Census online.  People will only knock on the doors of households that have not been counted online.

Myra Anderson, president of the Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF), was on hand at Friday’s event to express the importance of the Detroit’s economic growth.

“We (the SAF) want to create opportunities for economic mobility for the people of Detroit.  The Census is just one of the ways to make that happen,” Anderson said.

Photo: Urban Content Studios/ Darren Clark

BGCSM youth and facilitators guided conversations with representatives from the youth-serving agencies present. In groups, they brainstormed ideas for increasing Detroit residents participation in the 2020 Census.

Big Sean and Mayor Mike Duggan did more than just talk about the importance of the Census, they directly asked for help in ensuring its success. The Dauch Campus youth led the conversation around how to spread the word of the importance of 2020 Census participation and what resources were needed from the City of Detroit in order to make that happen.

Photo: Urban Content Studios/ Darren Clark

Alexis Wiley, chief of staff for Mayor Duggan, explained how the concepts from Friday would be used to help 2020 Census participation.

“We will be collecting your ideas so we have the best feedback possible. We want to know what you all want to see for the city, so we can make it happen,” Wiley said.

Photo: Urban Content Studios/ Darren Clark

Friday was the first of many conversations around economic mobility and the 2020 Census for Detroit. BGBCSM will empower our youth to be included in as many of the future conversations as possible. It is their ideas that will bring about the future we all want to see for Detroit.

Photo: Urban Content Studios/ Darren Clark

So how does it all add up? The City of Detroit will receive $1,800 of federal funding for each person who is counted in the 2020 Census – each year – for ten years. That means if you aren’t counted, the city would lose $18,000 that could go towards city funded programs and facilities for the next decade. Imagine if each member of your family wasn’t counted!

Thanks to BGBCSM youth and the youth-serving agencies represented, you may see a Census party on your block next summer.


Visit https://detroitmi.gov/census to BE COUNTED in 2020!